This saucy polenta saved me from the weekday brown rice blues. I needed a comfort meal but also didn’t want to have a pizza hangover. This is a great middle ground if your metabolism is as mediocre as mine. You get both surf and turf so it automatically feels like a step up from a lame weeknight without being too over the top.

There’s kind of a lot going on here so be prepared, it’s not an easy one-pan dish but it’s worth it and doable. The polenta makes enough for a small party so I think I’d halve that next time. I couldn’t find “hot fennel Italian sausage” (is that a real thing?) so I just added some fennel with regular sausage early on. I’d also get peeled and deveined shrimp next time because that would greatly speed this up.

The sauce is fantastic and the polenta is perfect to soak it all up. It’s a spicy red sauce and the crème fraîche adds the perfect creaminess. The scallion-caper topping is the perfect cooling contrast so do not skip. I would definitely serve this to meat and seafood eating guests and feel like I could still entertain while making something impressive. Would pair well with a bold red wine and sweatpants.

Groceries: A decent amount

Dishes: High

Will make again: Totally

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